How to make profiteroles cream puffs

How to make profiteroles cream puffs

A cream puff is a dessert made with choux pastry dough and a filling such as whipped cream, custard, or ice cream. The light, airy pastry dough pairs with the heavier dairy product to make a rich, dense, flavorful dessert which is often dressed with chocolate or caramel sauce. The recipe for choux pastry is relatively simple, and it serves as the base for a variety of desserts including profiteroles, eclairs, and beignets. Once the basic puff pastry has been mastered, cooks can experiment with a variety of cream puff fillings and sauces.

The cream puff dough is a unique type of pastry dough, because it is cooked before baking to form a thick paste. It also has a high water content, which steams the pastry as it cooks, causing it to puff up dramatically. The cream puff is characterized by large airy pockets enclosed by thin layers of dough when it is made well. While many consumers associate the cream puff with desserts, cooks can also make savory fillings and use cream puffs as appetizers.

To make choux pastry, sift together one half cup each flour and sugar along with a quarter teaspoon of salt. Set these dry ingredients aside and heat one half cup water and one quarter cup butter in a heavy saucepan, until the mixture boils. Remove from the heat and stir in the dry ingredients to form a thick dough which will start to pull away from the sides of the saucepan. Transfer the dough ball to a mixing bowl, and stir it so that it cools slightly. Slowly add two beaten eggs to the mixture, stirring until the choux has reached the consistency of a thick paste. Spoon blobs of the paste onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius) for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius) and bake for another half hour, until the pastry puffs up and turns a rich golden brown.

Turn the heat off, but leave the pastries in the oven to cool. It is generally a good idea to take one out and slice it open to make sure that the pastry isn’t raw in the middle, since the dough will collapse if this is the case. Once the pastries have cooled, you can transform them into cream puffs by slicing them in half and filling them with ingredients, or by injecting cream into them. The sweet pastry pairs very well with a more savory sauce such as raspberry coulis or a dark chocolate sauce. If they are not going to be eaten right away, the cream puffs can be refrigeration for up to one day before use.

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Can Cream Puffs be made in advance? Yes, these are easy to make ahead of time. The shells can be baked up to two days in advance, and stored in an airtight container.

Consequently, Do unfilled cream puffs need to be refrigerated?

Once filled with any kind of cream filling, they must be stored in the refrigerator. Unfilled puffs may be stored in an airtight container for several days, but first cut them open and remove the strands of dough to prevent sogginess. …

Also question is, Can I fill profiteroles the day before?

Make sure not to pipe the cream filling into the profiterole too far in advance as the pastry will go soft. The shell of a profiterole can be made in advance and either stored in an airtight container or even frozen.

Besides How do you store choux pastry overnight? Yes, absolutely. Uncooked choux pastry dough can be stored in an airtight container (or pastry bag) in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Also, How do you keep choux pastry crisp?

The most important thing is to prevent freezer burn. Baked choux pastry can be stored in an air tight container, at room temperature, for 24 hours (unfilled). They do lose their crispness, so you may want to reheat them at 300 F, just until they’re warmed through and crisp.

How do you store Unfilled choux pastry?

The choux pastry dough can be made and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Baked, unfilled shells can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for 1 day, or frozen for up to 3 months.

16 Related Questions and Answers Found

How long does cooked choux pastry stay fresh?

Make-ahead pâte à choux: The choux dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months before baking; thaw the dough overnight in the fridge before using.

How do you make choux pastry crisp?

Once the choux buns have been baked, allow them to cool completely before wrapping them carefully in clingfilm. You can freeze the cooked choux buns for up to 3 months. To serve, defrost them and crisp them up in the oven at 150°C (350°F) for 5 to 10 minutes.

Will profiteroles keep overnight?

You can store them in any airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, and can freeze even filled puffs for several weeks. The shell of a profiterole can be made in advance and either stored in an airtight container or even frozen.

Do you eat profiteroles hot or cold?

Profiteroles can be enjoyed either warm or cold, but are best served the day they’re made. COOK’S NOTE: For éclairs, instead of making ball shapes, pipe long 3-4″ lines and follow the same filling procedure as for profiteroles.

Can I freeze unfilled profiteroles?

The unfilled, baked profiteroles freeze really well and just need crisping up in a hot oven after defrosting. Equipment and preparation: You will need a plain-nozzle piping bag.

How do you stop profiteroles from deflating?

Set the puffs on a rack to cool and poke a small hole in the top of each one with a skewer to release excess steam that could cause them to collapse. A solid outer crust will keep these small vent-holes from deflating the puffs like pricked balloons. Cool them completely before frosting or filling.

How do you store unfilled éclairs?

If you’re going to store the unfilled éclairs only for one day or two, put them in the airtight container at room temperature or refrigerate them. They will be fine for 2 days. For the unfilled éclairs, you can store the separate elements conveniently for a longer time.

Can I make choux pastry the day before?

Save precious time by refrigerating this time-consuming pastry dough—it’ll keep for a couple of days with no ill effects. Crisp, airy pâte à choux is the versatile dough used to make many pastries, including cream puffs, éclairs, and savory cheese gougères. … REFRIGERATE: Dough can be made two days ahead.

How do you keep choux pastry from getting soggy?

It’s really important to have a very hot oven for making any choux pastries, so that’s the first thing to think about. When you know they’re cooked, usually after 20 to 25 minutes, take them out and put them on a wire tray.

Are cream puffs and profiteroles the same?

The difference between Profiteroles, Éclairs and Cream Puffs is that Profiteroles are frozen and the others are not. They all may be filled and topped the same way. When making Profiteroles, after they are cool from baking, fill with whipped or pastry cream, or even ice cream, then freeze.

How do you store unfilled eclairs?

If you’re going to store the unfilled éclairs only for one day or two, put them in the airtight container at room temperature or refrigerate them. They will be fine for 2 days. For the unfilled éclairs, you can store the separate elements conveniently for a longer time.

How long can you store choux pastry?

Make-ahead pâte à choux: The choux dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months before baking; thaw the dough overnight in the fridge before using.

Can you bake choux pastry in advance?

Make-ahead pâte à choux: The choux dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months before baking; thaw the dough overnight in the fridge before using.

Can I make profiteroles a day ahead?

The basis of a good profiterole begins with the crisp and light choux pastry. Make sure not to pipe the cream filling into the profiterole too far in advance as the pastry will go soft. The shell of a profiterole can be made in advance and either stored in an airtight container or even frozen.

What is the difference between a cream puff and a profiterole?

The difference between Profiteroles, Éclairs and Cream Puffs is that Profiteroles are frozen and the others are not. They all may be filled and topped the same way. When making Profiteroles, after they are cool from baking, fill with whipped or pastry cream, or even ice cream, then freeze.

Can I freeze profiteroles filled with cream?

Yes! You can freeze cream puffs that are filled! And it’s easy to do! Just make them according to the instructions below and freeze the filled cream puffs on a parchment-lined baking sheet until frozen, about 4 hours.

How do you store unfilled cream puff shells?

Unfilled puffs may be stored in an airtight container for several days, but first cut them open and remove the strands of dough to prevent sogginess. To freeze unfilled cream puffs, wrap tightly in plastic wrap or resealable plastic bags. Do not cut cream puffs open or remove the strands of dough before freezing.

What’s a difference between choux pastry, cream puffs and profiteroles? Does it matter? Let’s just make them and enjoy while they last!

How to make profiteroles cream puffs

Let’s start with the basics

Choux pastry, or pâte à choux is a delicate pastry dough used in many pastries. It contains only butter, water, flour, and eggs. Instead of a raising agent, it employs high moisture content to create steam during cooking to puff the pastry

Cream puffs

A profiterole or cream puff, or chou à la crème is a filled French choux pastry ball with a typically sweet and moist filling of whipped cream, custard, pastry cream, or ice cream. The puffs may be decorated or left plain or garnished with chocolate sauce, caramel, or a dusting of powdered sugar. Savory profiterole are also made, filled with pureed meats, cheese, and so on. These were formerly common garnishes for soups.

Profiteroles are so woven into our everyday freezer life that it’s even hard to imagine that it could be done at home. This is the backslide of the ready made food world. People forget how easy is to make those thing that they pay for. Probably that’s the point anyway but still. Nothing can compare to a great homemade dessert. Even if it’s our first try. And we all know how bad first tries could be.

Ingredients

Choux pastry

  • ⅞ cup / 200ml Water
  • 10 tablespoon / 150g Butter
  • 1½ cup / 200g Flour
  • 4 Eggs

Filling

  • 1 pack Vanilla pudding powder or 40g Cornstarch with vanilla extract
  • ⅞ cup / 200ml Milk (for pudding powder)
  • ⅞ cup / 200ml Heavy whipping cream
  • Sweetener to taste (optional)

How to make

Choux Pastry

  1. Place water and butter in a medium saucepan. Stir it with a wooden spoon and bring to boil.How to make profiteroles cream puffs
  2. Reduce heat and add the flour slowly stirring continuously until it forms a ball that pulls away from the sides of the saucepan.How to make profiteroles cream puffs
  3. Remove from heat and leave it cool down before start adding the eggs, one by one beating them. Keep beating until the egg is fully incorporated.How to make profiteroles cream puffs
  4. Use 2 s poons to sort the dough into walnut sized piles onto a baking sheet on the tray. Place them far from each other as they are going to expand. How to make profiteroles cream puffs
  5. Preheat the oven into 390ºF / 200ºC degree and put the pastries in to bake them for 25 – 35 minutes (depends on the oven) until puffed up, dry, and golden brown. How to make profiteroles cream puffs

(Try not to open the oven door before they develop a crust as the pastry can fall due to sudden temperature fall.)

Filling

How to make profiteroles cream puffs

  1. Meanwhile the pastry is baking use the time to make the cream. Use vanilla pudding powder and follow instructions on its box. There are all sort of brands so everything depends on what we prefer. For a sugar free recipe use sugar free vanilla powder. Some we only have to beat with a certain amount of milk, others we need to cook to get the pudding. It needs to be stiff.
  2. Turn heating off and put the pudding aside to cool down. If cooking sounds difficult, use the instant version, whisk the vanilla cream and set it aside in the fridge.
  3. Whisk the whipping cream separately, cover and put it in the fridge, too.

Assembly

  1. W hen both vanilla cream and whipping cream is cold mix them together. How to make profiteroles cream puffs
  2. Transfer the cooled pastries to a tray and slice the tops off. Scrape the inside bit if necessary. How to make profiteroles cream puffs
  3. Spoon the vanilla and whipping cream combo into the bottom pastries and place the tops on.How to make profiteroles cream puffs

How to make profiteroles cream puffs

The size matters especially if its bite sized:

What is the difference between a cream puff and a profiterole?

Profiteroles are called cream puffs in the US. There isn’t any difference between them.

Why is choux pastry called choux?

Choux means cabbabe in French but the dessert has nothing to do with actual cabbages though. The first cakes that were made from choux pasty dough resembled cabbages hence the name stuck with the dough.

Why is my choux pastry not rising?

Hot water that cooks the eggs before they have a chance to raise the dough in the oven is one possible reason of a flat choux pastry. Too much egg can also cause problems. If the choux pastry doesn’t raise add less eggs next time.

Is choux pastry the same as puff pastry?

Although the ingredients are the same the process and end results are different. Puff pastry is a flaky light pastry made from a laminated dough composed of dough and butter or other solid fat. The butter is put inside the dough which is repeatedly folded and rolled out before baking. Choux pastry is just a mixed together dough that’s placed on a baking sheet in different form and baked.

Can choux pastry be made in advance?

Choux dough can be refrigerated or even frozen before baking. Try not to keep the mixed choux dough in the fridge longer than 3 days or 3 months in the freezer though. It won’t taste nice after that.

How to make profiteroles cream puffs

Make a light and airy profiteroles recipe and fill the pastry with ice cream. Profiteroles are a fancy way of saying “the best cream puffs you’ve ever tasted!” I used vanilla ice cream instead of the classic pastry-cream filling for a summer dessert everyone will love.

When I think of one of my favorite, and most impressive desserts, Ice Cream Profiteroles immediately come to mind. I mean who wouldn’t want this in front of them at a summer party!?

How to make profiteroles cream puffs

What are Profiteroles?

Profiteroles are a crispy and custardy pastry filled with ice cream (or pastry cream) and topped with chocolate or caramel sauce and traditionally whipped cream.

They are made using choux pastry, a tender French dough that is cooked on the stove top, then baked in the oven to create treats like eclairs and cream puffs.

The main difference between cream puffs, eclairs, and profiteroles is that profiteroles are frozen. The others certainly can be, but it’s not standard.

All of them are made from choux paste, a very eggy dough that forms a crisp exterior and a hollow inside, often with a custardy texture.

Profiteroles are the French way of saying cream puffs filled with ice cream! Feel free to refer to these little numbers either way, but profiteroles (prof-IT-er-rolls) just sounds so cute and fancy coming out. They’re pretty darn tasty going in as well!

Make cream puffs

Don’t be intimidated making cream puffs. This profiteroles recipe is hard to mess up.

Now if I were having you make eclairs or some other fancy, piped pate au choux dessert I’d make you be more technical. But this pate au choux (cream puff dough) is simple and doesn’t need to be piped.

Simply spoon it onto parchment and bake.

How to make profiteroles cream puffs

Classic profiteroles recipe

These pastries are made from a cooked dough, so it’s mixed in a saucepan. Melt butter, sugar, water, and salt together and add some flour.

Eggs are incorporated one at a time. You don’t add the eggs all at once because the flour mixture needs to gradually get used to them, like a slowly cultivated relationship!

As one egg is absorbed and mixed in, the dough is ready for another one.

Vanilla or chocolate profiteroles

I filled my little baked cream puffs with store-bought ice cream or a homemade eggless vanilla ice cream recipe for a classic summer situation. But any flavor will do. Think mint chip! Or strawberry, pistachio or even coffee. All are perfection in this dessert.

Profiteroles au chocolat might be more tempting to you! Fill them with homemade chocolate ice cream (or store-bought for ease).

How to make profiteroles cream puffs

Profiteroles recipe with a bonus hot fudge recipe:

I make my own fudge sauce. I do it because it’s quite easy and super delicious–the recipe is below.

If you’re into the store-bought kind I’d suggest this awesome sauce trio that includes a white chocolate sauce!

You can get my Hot Fudge Sauce recipe below or in my Chocolate Book mini magazine. Buy it now!

The Chocolate Book

Make-ahead and freeze

Profiteroles are the perfect dessert to freeze. Cream puffs can be made weeks in advance and kept in the freezer for an impromptu treat.

Make and your cream puffs ahead and keep them in the freezer in a ziptop bag. No defrosting needed: simply slice the tops off, fill and serve!

You can fill them ahead and freeze them, however I don’t condone this as the ice cream will change the texture of the choux pastry.

My Cream Puffs are filled with a yummy chocolate hazelnut pastry cream, which is pipeable, making them even cuter and more impressive. Topped with chocolate ganache and toasted hazelnuts. What are you waiting for? Go make them!

RECIPE LINK 🔗 IN THE COMMENTS! ⬇️

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Here is the ONLY Pumpkin bread recipe you'll ever need. And if you're not big on chocolate and want to taste as much of those wonderful warm spices as possible, leave the chocolate chips out. So good!

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Gluten-Free Vegan Cream Puffs / Profiteroles <refined Sugar-Free alt=” width=”680″ height=”864″ />

These little gluten-free vegan cream puffs you see featured here have been a pure labor of love and were not an easy recipe to create. After many, many attempts I’m finally happy to have a recipe worth sharing — isn’t it amazing that you too can now have gluten-free, dairy-free, and eggless cream puffs? 🙂

Gluten-Free Vegan Cream Puffs / Profiteroles <refined Sugar-Free alt=” width=”680″ height=”680″ />

Before you proceed to the recipe, please take the time to read this gluten-free vegan mini-eclairs recipe first, where I share some of the basics of how to get this recipe working properly, and also all my failures so you can learn from all my mistakes! This recipe is a little delicate and requires a careful following of the directions, so don’t skip on checking out the link above for best results.

There is also a video in that recipe you’ll find handy for this. Even though it is for eclairs, the basic choux pastry recipe is the same, it’s only the filling that is slightly different — so definitely worth watching. Once you read that and watch the video you’ll be well equipped to make your own tasty gluten-free and eggless cream puffs !

I filled my cream puffs with a very basic non-dairy whipped cream recipe, but they can of course also be filled with savory stuffing, or a pastry cream of your choice. Or you can make mini gluten-free vegan eclairs instead too, of course 🙂

Gluten-Free Vegan Cream Puffs / Profiteroles <refined Sugar-Free alt=” width=”150″ height=”150″ />

Gluten-Free Vegan Cream Puffs / Profiteroles

  • Author: Audrey @ Unconventional Baker
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 10 – 12 mini cream puffs
  • Category: Pastry
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Dessert

Description

Fluffy, airy gluten-free cream puff / profiteroles recipe filled with vegan whipped cream. Absolutely delicious…and refined sugar-free!

Ingredients

Choux Pastry:

  • ½ cup non-dairy milk
  • ¼ cup non-dairy butter
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • The following gf flour mix: ¼ cup brown rice flour, ¼ cup tapioca starch, 2 tbsp sweet sticky rice flour , 1 tsp guar gum
  • ½ tsp gluten-free baking powder

Egg Replacer:

  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1½ tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp guar gum
  • ⅛ tsp cream of tartar

Vegan Whipped Cream:

  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 – 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Optional:

  • Some powdered coconut milk for dusting

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Place milk, butter, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and salt in a small sauce pan. Warm on absolute minimum heat just until the butter melts. Stir to help it melt faster. Do not let the mixture boil or heat up too much. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool a few minutes.
  3. Add in flour and gluten-free baking powder into the butter mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture is pasty. Set aside.
  4. Place all egg replacer ingredients into a small mixing bowl and whip with a mixer until frothy and thick. Scoop the egg replacer mixture into the choux pastry batter and mix until the two mixtures are incorporated . Batter should be the consistency of something like a soft frosting at this point.
  5. Transfer batter into a pipping bag fitted with a round tip . Pipe the mixture onto a the prepared baking sheet, using a circular motion, into 2″ round swirls . Space them at least 2-3” apart. .
  6. Lightly wet your finger tip with water and smooth out the spiky tip of each eclair . .
  7. Bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes . They should be slightly browned at this point. Reduce temperature to 350 and bake a further 5-10 minutes, . .
  8. When done, they should look lightly brown. Test one of the eclairs by carefully taking it out of the oven and tapping it with your finger — it should sound/feel a little hollow and the shell should be a little hard. If it feels soft, bake a further 5-10 minutes .
  9. When ready, turn off the oven, open the door a bit and allow the eclairs to sit in the oven as it’s cooling for a further 20 minutes. Then remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack.
  10. In the meantime, prepare the whipped cream by opening the coconut milk can, scooping out only the white solid part into a mixing bowl and whipping it with a mixer until stiff. Then add in the sweetener and vanilla and mix to incorporate everything.
  11. Cut each eclair in half. If there are any doughy parts in any of them, simply remove them and discard. Spoon whipped cream filling onto the bottom half of each puff, cover with the other half. Dust with some powdered coconut milk and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

Gluten-Free Vegan Cream Puffs / Profiteroles <refined Sugar-Free alt=” width=”680″ height=”734″ />

Disclaimer: this post contains an affiliate links for a gluten-free flour blend and powdered coconut milk.

These mini puffs — crispy pastry shells (pâte à choux) filled with creamy filling and topped with chocolate sauce or caramel — are an easy, elegant dessert. Or turn them into tiny profiteroles: stuff puffs with a scoop of ice cream, drizzle with fudge sauce or caramel sauce, and serve two or three to a plate, for a gorgeous dessert.

How to make profiteroles cream puffs

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (227g) water
  • 8 tablespoons (113g) unsalted butter
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (150g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (340g) milk (skim, low-fat, or full-fat)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding mix, regular (96g each) or sugar-free (28g each)

*Want to skip the pudding mix in favor of homemade filling? Try our recipe for pastry cream.

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

To make the choux pastry: Combine the water, butter, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan. Heat until the butter has melted, and bring to a rolling boil.

Remove from the heat and add the flour all at once, stirring vigorously until the mixture smooths out and comes together into a ball; this should take less than 30 seconds. If needed, return the pan to the heat for a few minutes to help the batter come together.

Remove the pan from the heat, and transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer. After 7 minutes, check the temperature of the dough: you should be able to hold a finger in it for a few seconds. If you have a digital thermometer, the temperature should be below 125°F.

Learn more

How to make profiteroles cream puffs

Pâte à choux perfected

Beat in the eggs one at a time; the mixture will look curdled at first, but when you add the last egg it should become smooth. Beat for 1 minute after adding the last egg. You’ll have a stiff, smooth batter.

Transfer the batter to a pastry bag with a 1/2″ diameter round tip. Pipe into mounds about 1″ in diameter (the puffs will double in volume as they bake), leaving 2″ of space between them. Alternately, if you don’t have a pastry bag, drop the batter by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared sheets (a teaspoon cookie scoop works well here).

Bake the puffs for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for 20 to 25 minutes more, until they’re a medium golden brown. Don’t open the oven door while the puffs are baking.

Remove the puffs from the oven, and use a sharp knife to cut a slit into the side of each for steam to escape. Return to the oven for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.

To make the filling: Combine the pudding mix, milk, and vanilla, whisking or beating until the mixture starts to thicken. Refrigerate until set.

When they’re cool enough to handle, split the puffs in half to make tops and bottoms; doing this will expose the center to air and keep them from becoming soggy.

To assemble: Fill each of the puff bottoms with a heaping tablespoon of pudding. Replace the top. It’s best to do this within an hour of when you’ll be serving the puffs, otherwise they get soggy. Sift some confectioners’ sugar atop the puffs just before serving.

For profiteroles, scoop a generous tablespoon of ice cream onto the bottoms of the puffs; replace the tops. Drizzle with sauce before serving.

Tips from our Bakers

To freeze unbaked puffs, drop them close together onto one greased (or parchment-lined) baking sheet, cover gently with greased plastic wrap, and freeze. When frozen, transfer to a plastic bag and seal tightly. Use within one month. To bake puffs that have been frozen first, place the frozen puffs on the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1 1/2″ to 2″ between them. Let the puffs thaw while you preheat the oven, about 20 minutes. Bake the puffs as directed above.

How to make profiteroles cream puffs

Cream puffs and eclairs aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when we think of versatile desserts. But in reality they’re wonderful edible containers that can be big, medium or small, round or elongated, and filled with all kinds of delicious options sweet or savory! Whipped cream? check. pastry cream? check. crab salad? You bet.

Making the pastry isn’t difficult but there are some tricks that are really valuable to know and use for great results. I’ve compiled tips for perfect choux paste, and especially recommend it for anyone attempting a gluten-free version.

This recipe is specifically for making cream puffs, eclairs and profiteroles. And fillings can vary. Profiteroles are traditionally tiny cream puffs filled with vanilla ice cream and topped with chocolate sauce or syrup. But how about salted caramel or Turkish coffee ice cream and buttery rum-laced caramel syrup? What about cream puffs with a blend of whipped cream and lemon curd? You get to choose!

How to make profiteroles cream puffs

Cream Puffs and Profiteroles

Ingredients

6 tablespoons ( 3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into little pieces

1 – 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon Rain’s Choice ground Vanilla Bean Powder

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 large egg yolk beaten with 2 teaspoons milk for the glaze

2 cups heavy, cream

1 – 1/2 teaspoons powdered sugar

1 teaspoon Rain’s Choice pure Vanilla Extract

Additional powdered sugar for dusting tops of cream puffs

Instructions

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. If you have a pizza stone, put it on the rack to heat. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium saucepan, bring the water, butter, sugar, and salt to a boil over medium heat, stirring often to make sure the butter is completely melted before the water boils. Remove from heat when water boils and add the flour all at once, beating well with a wooden spoon, and continue stirring until the paste forms a mass that pulls away from the sides of the pan. Return the pan to medium low heat and, using a the spoon, expose the paste to heat while constantly stretching and folding the paste for about 3 minutes. What you’re doing here is drying the paste some so that it will rise well along with activating the gluten.

Remove from the heat. Transfer to a bowl for a stand mixer with paddle or a medium bowl and hand mixer. Let the dough rest for about 3 minutes to cool down slightly. On low speed, beat in the eggs one at a time and beat well until it is completely incorporated before adding the next egg. The dough will be stiff.

Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch-wide plain tube. Pipe dough into 2-inch diameter mounds about 1-1/2 inches high and 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. You can also carefully spoon mounds of dough instead of using a pastry tube. Smooth the top and sides as much as possible but don’t stress if the puffs aren’t quite even and the same size.

Lightly brush the tops of the mounds with the egg glaze, tamping down pointed tips. Don’t let the glaze drop onto the parchment; if it does, dab it off with a paper towel as it will harden during baking and the puffs won’t fully expand.

Place the puffs in the oven onto the pizza stone if using, and immediately lower the oven temperature to 375 F. Bake until the puffs are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes (or less if you’ve made little puffs). Remove the puffs from the oven and turn the oven off.

Using the tip of a small, sharp knife, pierce the side of each puff to release steam. Return the puffs to the oven for 5 minutes. Cool completely on the sheet before filling.

The puffs can be stored overnight in an airtight container or frozen for up to 3 months.

To reheat and crisp puffs, bake on a baking sheet in a preheated 300 degree oven until heated through, about 7 minutes for room-temperature puffs and 12 for frozen puffs. No need to thaw them first if they’re frozen.

Beat the cream, powdered sugar and vanilla in a chilled bowl until very stiff.

Split each puff almost but not quite fully through the center of the puff. Spoon cream into the bottom half of the puffs, then place the tops over the cream. The filled puffs can be prepared up to 2 hours ahead, loosely covered with plastic wrap, and refrigerated.

When ready to serve, dust the puffs with powdered sugar pressed through a sieve.

You can do wonderful variations on this. If you want lemon cream puffs, use 1 cup whipping cream, 1 cup lemon curd, no additional sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. You can also blend raspberry jam into the whipping cream, pop a raspberry or strawberry slice or two on top of the cream in the puff or serve lightly mashed berries with a little sugar in a bowl along with the cream puffs for guests to add to their puffs.